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Superfast Telford reaches 98% fibre broadband coverage target

Wednesday, May 30th 2018 by Phil Wilkinson-Jones

A government-funded broadband rollout has reached its target of making superfast speeds available to 98% of homes and businesses in Telford & Wrekin.

The £5.6m Superfast Telford programme was launched later than most regional rollouts schemes as Telford & Wrekin Council had previously decided not to take part in the government’s Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) project.

When it did join BDUK in July 2015 Superfast Telford aimed for 98% coverage – as opposed to the national target of 95% – as the area was relatively well served already, thanks to commercial fibre rollouts by Virgin Media and BT.

Three years on, more than 9,000 premises have been connected by the scheme, which has been delivered and co-funded by Openreach. Take-up has also been higher than expected, with 37% of households and businesses in the area upgrading to fibre.

Councillor Hilda Rhodes, Telford & Wrekin Council’s cabinet member for broadband, said the focus is now on connecting the final 2% of properties.

'Cost-effective solutions'

“We invested in Superfast Telford to help transform the way people live, work, learn, socialise and do business," said Cllr Rhodes. "The benefits include a more harmonious and happy home or business, a better work/life balance, being able to do things quicker, access to entertainment and learning something new.

“Superfast Telford has been a great success story for the borough and I’m delighted we have such a positive outcomes from our significant initial investment, which positions us ahead of our neighbouring authorities.

“In the meantime, we’re working hard to find cost-effective solutions to make the faster broadband available the premises not already covered.”

Kim Mears, Openreach’s managing director of strategic infrastructure development, said: “Deploying fibre broadband to even more of Telford and Wrekin’s smallest, most remote areas can be very challenging.

“But due to the successful partnership with Superfast Telford, we’ve now achieved our target of making the technology to 98% of the borough’s households and businesses, and our engineering teams are close to completing the final upgrades.”

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